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Bringing you a better Berkeleyan

Reader input, budget challenges, and a new design

| 27 August 2009

With this issue you will see a redesigned Berkeleyan, with a new look and some new editorial formats. Most publications reinvent themselves every few years, and we’ve been hard at work over the summer doing just that.

New BerkeleyanThe new Berkeleyan

Of enormous help in this effort were the more than 1,500 of our readers — most all of them Berkeley faculty and staff — who responded to our spring online reader survey with clear indications of what they look for in the Berkeleyan and what they liked (and disliked) about our approach at the time. The changes introduced here are based on their feedback as well as on our own sense, honed over the years, of both our mission and our highest aspirations.

As campus communicators, we’re charged with keeping staff and faculty informed about what Berkeley does, who makes it happen, and why it’s important. Whether it’s a key communiqué from the chancellor, a close look at a breakthrough discovery or stimulating insight from a campus expert, or reports on talented and dedicated staff members, we’re as committed as ever to sharing those stories with you.

Like everyone else on campus, though, we face serious budgetary challenges. These considerations have led us to reduce our publication schedule from weekly to every other week even though most readers in our survey prefer a weekly Berkeleyan. Printing news on paper is expensive, so with this move we’re contributing to Berkeley’s budget savings. No editor with a spanking-new design to work with can pretend to be happy about that … but it’s the right thing to do.

We’re fortunate to have the UC Berkeley NewsCenter as our online companion in delivering campus news, and as we reduce our print frequency, you’ll continue to find essential news and stories by Berkeleyan writers there. Our reader survey made clear that, while many of you look online for news, just as many prefer to read a print newspaper, so we’ll continue to bring you a print edition — adding value to Public Affairs’ integrated communications while continuing to do the many things only a newspaper can do.

Kudos to our staff designer Hulda Nelson for her innovative approach to a slew of editorial challenges; to the adroit writers on the Berkeleyan staff; and to all our colleagues, in Public Affairs and around the campus, who support our work, feed us ideas, and let us know how much they value our efforts. Working with you to launch this new era of the Berkeleyan has been, as always, a pleasure.